Conference deliberates on sexual, reproductive health rights

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The Department of Social Development will host a conference that seeks to deepen and promote access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights.

“This conference is part of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action 1994 +20 which resolved that South Africa should approach sexual and reproductive health and rights from a SRJ perspective as gender equality, equity and the genuine empowerment of women,” the department said.

The National Sexual and Reproductive Justice Conference will start on Wednesday and end on Friday in Pretoria.

The conference serves as an important milestone toward consolidating the Population Policy related Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) work that has been done in the last 24 years. It also presents an opportunity to chart a new way forward regarding the Sexual and Reproductive Justice discourse in the country.

Amongst areas of discussion, the conference will through sideline panel discussions and sessions, deliberate on addressing the legacy of forced sterilisation of HIV-positive women in public health care institutions in South Africa.

People on the Move and Sexual and Reproductive Justice (SRJ) as well as access to healthcare services for all pregnant women, including migrant women will also be deliberated upon.

“SRJ exists when all people have the power and resources to make healthy decisions about their bodies, sexuality, and reproduction. As part of being in full control of their bodies and expressing themselves, free from any form of sexual or reproductive oppression, this means that all persons have the right to choose to have or not have children.

“In addition, persons are expected to choose the conditions under which to give birth, create a family and care for their children with the necessary social support in a safe and healthy environment,” the department said.

The conference takes place during Human Rights Month under the theme: "consolidating and sustaining human rights culture into the future". –